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Below is an Interactive Board sampler. A fuller listing is found in the "Stories" menu above.

4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

3/23 Interactive Board: He's Changing... I'm Not...

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

12/12 Interactive Board: What if He Could Have Changed?

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

8/24 Interactive Board: Quandary! What's Going On?

7/20: Dr. Irene on cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

 10. J's Last Chapter

10. J's Last Chapter...

"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections,
but instantly set about remedying them –
every day begin the task anew." - Saint Francis de Sales

November 4, 2002

J's very sad story began on these pages long ago, in 1998. This is one man's journal of his marriage to a narcissist... J's saga starts here and this is what J sent me today. Doc.

The final chapter of Yolanda and J can now be written. I got married to Yolanda in June of 2000 and we went home to live in her house in the Bronx, NY, a place where I vowed I would never live.

From the time we got back home from the honeymoon I realized that the marriage was not what I had expected nor what I deserved. After having done so much for this relationship and having taken Yolanda back when she had dumped me on two previous occasions, I expected something more from a marriage with her. I have no idea in hindsite why I expected her to change.  Perhaps I just believed the words that were coming from her mouth although they often betrayed her actions. She told me that she would be great to me once we were married.

First of all, we got back from the honeymoon to find her estranged parents sleeping in our house. This went on for about two weeks when her father finally went home to his country. This was not before he managed to make her spend hundreds of dollars from our now pooled income to buy him a television and other nice things from COSTCO. These were gifts that he would present to his family over there under the guise that they actually came from him. Her mother did not leave for another two weeks. This took us to the end of July, one month after that blessed wedding day.

By the end of the summer I realized that this marriage would not be special at all for me. She never, ever treated me as if I was her husband. I tried to make this marriage work, but I was fighting a losing battle because I was the only one willing to try. She only did one thing for me - and that was to cook. That was the way Yolanda showed cooking for her man. Having been single for years and having learned to live on and love simple meals, I was not really interested in loading myself up with spoonfuls of rice and chicken every evening. This was all that she ever really did for me.

Intimacy suffered because she just did not want me. She became distant, withdrawing to her mother, who had by then come back to visit for another three month stretch right before Thanksgiving.

By January, I realized that Yolanda was not in love with me, and I began to suspect that she was either cheating on me or she was preparing for something that was not going to include me.

Being a narcissist who needed to look perfect, Yolanda had her stomach fixed before we got married, saying that she would feel more comfortable in bed with me if she did it. In February, she had totally inappropriate and unnecessary liposuction on her thighs. The surgery only succeeded in putting our love life out of commission for a whole month, so the one or two days a week of intimacy became more than four weeks of nothing. It was during that time that I had scheduled a vasectomy because we had discussed having children and we both agreed we did not want them. I went to the first appointment and was all ready to have it done when two friends from work persuaded me not to have the surgery - because they knew how miserable I was in my marriage.

Yolanda went to her country during the Easter season for two weeks. We agreed not to talk to one another because of how unhappy our marriage had made us. She was acting even more strange than usual. I began to snoop and found that she was writing in her journal. I managed to get the journal, bring it to work and photocopy it. Since it was written in Spanish, I needed an interpreter. The person who interpreted it said, "I feel so sorry for you." Yolanda had been writing about her ex-husband, saying that she wanted desperately to be back in his arms.

I decided to take a different route, thinking that I should speak with her ex-husband. Looking back I have no idea what I expected to achieve, but I had to do it. He told me that the problems I was having with her were not new...he had the same issues with Yolanda. We went to a marriage counselor and Yolanda sat there with folded arms saying that I was a rotten man, not worthy of her. I knew then that I was only going to be with her for a very short time. She even began to talk about him in a very positive light while we were in bed together. She started to say that she should have another child with him. This was when we were still married, mind you.

The next day, only five minutes after having sexual intercourse, Yolanda told me she wanted a divorce. I was shocked and I had to ask her once again if she meant what she said. She said yes, she wanted a divorce. I got up but Yolanda did not want me to leave. She wanted me to stay in her bed. I told her that I did not want to sleep with her anymore. I spent the night on the couch. Yolanda spent half of the night staring at me while I tossed and turned.

The marriage ended when Yolanda threatened to call the cops on me for no apparent reason. I came home one night and saw that an alcoholic family friend of hers was staying the night, and she began to yell at me while I was on the phone with my police officer brother. My brother reminded me that my career was in jeopardy, so he told me to come stay with him. I stayed there for several months before finding a nice condominium to purchase.

I stopped talking to Yolanda right after I left her house. She had made me completely miserable, unhappy and totally confused. I did things that I would not otherwise consider - like dating and even becoming intimate with a woman I did not love. I regret what I did to this day.

She decided to file for an annulment, claiming that I refused to have children with her even though we had agreed not to have children. I signed the papers because it was no use fighting. She never loved me and I knew what her next step would be. Our divorce was finalized in December of 2001.

In October of 2002 I heard that Yolanda is now pregnant. She remarried her first husband only a few months after our divorce was finalized. I see her once a month because we work in the same profession in the same city. I will be forced to watch the woman I loved get larger and larger and then give birth to another man's child.

There are many lessons to be learned from my experience. First of all, do not try to reclaim a relationship that did not work once. It will not work the second or third time. Also, do not become involved with a narcissist.

They cannot love; they simply hop from man to man looking for something they will never appreciate. Third, do not date where you work. This was a fatal mistake from the beginning. I had to see this woman at work after I broke up with her. Fourth, do not date until you are ready. I have so many regrets because I dated a number of women immediately after Yolanda and it was never right. It is more than a year since my last date and I am still not ready to date anyone. I do not plan to date or marry again, but I know that if it is in God's plan I will be ultra careful about the woman I share my life with.

Another lesson that I learned was that God is good all of the time. Trust in Him and you will not go wrong. Pray to God and ask Him to guide you. I thought I was doing the right thing in marrying Yolanda, but I wound up making a huge mess of my life. I cannot ever reclaim this lost time or the fact that I have now been married twice. If I ever meet that sweet, decent woman, what are my chances that she will find my past to be of comfort? Will she be able to overlook these huge mistakes? Yes J. But only if she really loves you... I'm glad you're finally free. Take care of yourSelf and may God bless you always. Dr. Irene

Take Care, J

 I want to read the posts.